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I've got a Dell 2950 running ESXi. I'm having weird issues in one of the VMs and I would like to do a memory test to eliminate (or identify) faulty RAM as the problem.

What is the easiest/fastest tool for me to use to do an exhaustive test of the system memory?

It would be nice if the tool came as a bootable CD/DVD image so I can shut down my server, boot from CD/DVD, do the test, then boot as usual when it's complete.

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4 Answers 4

up vote 10 down vote accepted

memtest.org is exactly what you're looking for.

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+1 yup -- they don't get much better than this. –  Geoff Fritz Jul 13 '09 at 18:02
    
+1 Use it all the time. –  KPWINC Jul 13 '09 at 18:28
    
+1 works from CD/DVD, USB stick, floppy, or PXE –  freiheit Jul 13 '09 at 18:34

You can download and burn the System rescue CD and run memtest off of it. It will take a while, but it will be exhaustive.

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If you still have the diagnostics boot partition that Dell installs at the factory up you can just boot into it and run the memory tests.

Dell might also have a bootable ISO image. I'm checking for that now and will posted an update if found.

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I really like the windiag memory test from Microsoft. It runs off of a bootable CDRom. I have seen this test running in the Advanced mode (press T when it starts) find memory problems that other tests have missed. http://oca.microsoft.com/en/windiag.asp

EDIT: Having said that - advanced mode is not particularly fast. It runs through 11 exhaustive tests, so it may take an hour or considerably more depending on how much memory is in the system.

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